HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus Review This is Super

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HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus Power Consumption and Noise

For edge deployments, power consumption is extremely important. It has an enormous impact on where the server can be deployed and its TCO. The ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus has a 180W external power adapter, but in most cases, it uses much less than this. Here we are going to use the MicroServer Gen10 Plus Xeon E-2224 configuration with 2x 16GB DDR4-2666 ECC UDIMMs, and an 800GB Intel SATA SSD.

  • Idle: 22.5W
  • STH 70% CPU: 74.1W
  • 100% Load: 92.8W
  • Maximum Observed: 108.4W

These results were obtained on 120V power. Also, we did not have hard drives installed for this, just one lower-power SSD. Since there is a 180W power supply that gives us some sense of the additional headroom for drives and peripherals.

From a noise perspective, we were seeing 20.8dba at idle and up to 30.6dba during boot. Even under a sustained 92W load, we did not hear the fans spin up for the first 10 minutes. Pushing into the 108W load after 10 minutes we heard the fans spin up to around 34.7dba. HPE uses 21dba as their rating and we were within 1% of that for most of our testing unless we specifically tried to get higher power figures. We will note that we did this testing after taking the unit apart so our thermal paste application may have altered this slightly. Also, we took this with the iLO Enablement Kit installed. Installing hard drives instead of SSDs will increase noise and make a more noticeable impact than the system fan. HPE did a great job minimizing fan noise.

STH Server Spider: HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus

In the second half of 2018, we introduced the STH Server Spider as a quick reference to where a server system’s aptitude lies. Our goal is to start giving a quick visual depiction of the types of parameters that a server is targeted at.

STH Server Spider HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus
STH Server Spider HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus

The MicroServer Gen10 Plus is not designed to be the highest-density compute or storage option out there. Instead, it is focused on being a compact unit with enough resources and deployment flexibility for an edge location. This is spot on what we would expect from a server like this.

Final Words

If you are wondering what I thought of the HPE MicroServer Gen10 Plus, the answer is fairly easy. The day before this review went live I ordered one with the iLO Enablement Kit since I received a nice discount on the units from a HPE reseller which put the total after tax and shipping under $717.

HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus Invoice
HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus Invoice

Pricing, of course, will vary, but this is an excellent platform. The ease of use, and frankly, compatibility with every major OS is extremely useful. If you have a lab of some sort and need to try different OS images, then this platform is going to work well because it is based on a very standard hardware base that mirrors higher-end servers.

Frankly, this is one of the highest honors we can give a product. We test servers from every major server OEM and have competitive system reviews in-progress. Still, this is a product that after hands-on time impressed us enough that we wanted to order another one to create high-availability edge solutions.

What is Next

At this point, we have done the HPE ProLiant MicroServer Gen10 Plus v Gen10 Hardware Overview, and now have our review published. Next in the series is where the real fun comes in. We have another article with some of the ways we can work around the items that we felt could be improved on the HPE ProLiant MSG10+. This is not a perfect system, and it is not inexpensive to modify, but it can be done. We also are testing almost 20 CPUs in the system to see what works from a power/ thermal standpoint so we can give some recommendations for those who are more adventurous. Since many of those options are not on the HPE approved options lists (technically the MSG10+ only supports up to 71W TDP CPUs as an example) we wanted to move that into its own piece.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW
Design & Aesthetics
9.5
Performance
9.3
Feature Set
9.2
Value
9.4
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Patrick has been running STH since 2009 and covers a wide variety of SME, SMB, and SOHO IT topics. Patrick is a consultant in the technology industry and has worked with numerous large hardware and storage vendors in the Silicon Valley. The goal of STH is simply to help users find some information about server, storage and networking, building blocks. If you have any helpful information please feel free to post on the forums.

37 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve skimmed this and wow. This is another STH Magnum Opus. I’ll read the full thing later today and pass it along to our IT team that manages branch offices.

  2. I made it to page 4 before I ordered one. That iLO enablement kit isn’t stocked in the channel so watch out. I’m now excited beyond compare for this.

  3. A really nice review, thanks a lot. impressed with the Xeon performance at this kind of low power system. I should/really want to get one, replacing my old gen 7 microserver home server.

  4. I like seeing bloggers and other guys review stuff, but STH ya’ll are in a different league. It’s like someone who understands both the technical and market aspects doing reviews. I think this format is even better than the GPU server review you did earlier this week.

    I’d like to know your thoughts about two or three of these versus a single ML110 or ML350. Is it worth going smaller and getting HA even if you’ve got 3 servers? I know that’s not part of this review. Maybe it’s a future guide.

  5. You’re Windows 10 testing is genius but you missed why. What you’ve created is a Windows 10 Pro remote desktop system that can be managed using iLO, is small and compact and it’s got 4 internal 3.5″ bays.

    If you plug RDP in, it’s a high-storage compact desktop when others this small in the market have shunned 3.5″.

  6. gentle suggestion: perhaps when taking photos of “small” items like this, have another human hold a ruler to give perspective of size (more helpful than a banana 🙂

    Thanks for mentioning the price within the article. Good info all around.

  7. Not impressed by this product nor this review; need more infos on thermal performances.

    Review lacks any discussion of thermal performance other than showing us the pretty picture of the iLO page and a brief mention of thermal limits on the PCI3 Gen3 slot with certain add-in cards.

    Complete lack of discussion of thermal performance of horizontally mounted HDD in this device where the review already admits to possible thermal issues with the design.

    For me this review looks like a Youtube “unboxing” article for HPE products and not a serious product performance review.

    Patrick, you can do better than this. Srsly.

  8. Sleepy – we used up to 7.2k RPM 10TB WD/HGST HDDs and did not see an issue. We also discussed maximum headroom for drives + PCIe + USB powered devices is around 70W given the 180W PSU and how the fan ramps at around 10min at ~110W.

    In the next piece, we have more on adding CPUs/ PCIe cards and we have touched the 180W PSU limit without thermal issues. Having done that, the thermal performance/ issue you mention is not present. If the unit can handle thermals up to the PSU’s maximum power rating, then it is essentially a non-issue.

  9. A random question, if I may : will the Gen10Plus physically stack on top of / below a Gen10 or Gen8 Microserver cleanly? It looks like it should but confirmation would be appreciated 🙂

  10. In the “comparison” article (between the MSG10 and the MSG10+), you wrote about the “missing” extra fifth internal SATA port: “[…] I think we have a solution that we will show in the full review we will publish for the MicroServer Gen10+.”
    I really had hoped to read about this solution! Or did I just miss it?

    Also, I’d like to know more about the integrated graphics: If I’m understanding it correctly, the display connectors on the back (VGA and DisplayPort, both marked blue) are for management only; meaning that even if you have a CPU with integrated GPU, that is not going to do much for you. (This is in line with the Gen8, but a definite difference with respect to the MSG10!) So … what GPU is it? A Matrox G200 like on the Gen8? Or something with a little more oomph?
    Personally, I’m saddened to see that HPE skimped on making the iGPU unusable. 🙁

  11. TomH – the Gen10 Plus is slightly wider if you look at dimensions. You can probably stack a Gen10 atop a Gen10 Plus but not the other way around.

    Nic – great point. As mentioned in the article, we ended up splitting this piece into a review of the unit for sale, and some of the customizations you can do beyond HPE’s offerings. It was already over 6K words. For this, we ended up buying 2 more MSG10+ units to test in parallel and get the next article out faster.

  12. Thanks Patrick – had hoped the “indent” on the top might be the same size as previous models, despite the overall dimensional differences, but guess not!

  13. Patrick – sounds great! Btw, next to the cmos battery, there is undocumented 60pin connector. Do you have any idea what is this for?

  14. Does iLO Enablement Kit allows you to use server after OS boot, ot is this the same as big servers where iLO advance licence is needed?

  15. Nikolas Skytter -> 4* WD40EFRX -> About 32C in idle (ambient around 20-21C), max 36C when all disks testing with badblocks. Fan speed 8% (idle).

  16. Patrick – I have found that undocumented connector exists on several supermicro motherboards as well.. and guess what.. undocumented in manual as well. Starting to be really curious..

  17. Lucky you, how were you able to install the latest Proxmox VE 6.1 on this server?
    As soon as the OS loads, the Intel Ethernet Controller I350-AM4 turns off completely :\

  18. Hi, could you please test if this unit can boot from nvme/m.2 disk in pcie slot without problem? There are some settings in bios that points to it, even there is no m.2 slot. Thanks!

  19. Having skipped the GEN10 and still owning a GEN7 and GEN8 Microserver this Plus version looks like a worthy replacement. Although I would have liked to see that HPE switched to an internal PSU, ditched the 3.5 HDD bays for 6 or 8 2.5 SSD bays (the controller can handle 12 lanes) and used 4x SODIMMS sockets to give 4 memory lanes. I also agree with Kennedy that 10Gbit would be a nice option (for at least 2 ports).

  20. How did you manage to connect to the iLO interface? My enablement board did not have the usual tag with the factory-set password on it. Is there some default password for those models?

  21. Has anyone else had / having issues when running VM’s? I have the E2224 Xeon model 16Gb RAM, but keep having performance issues. Namely storage.

    Current setup 1x Evo 850 500Gb SSD 2x Seagate Barracuda 7.2k 2Tb Spindle disks.

    Installing the Hypervisor works fine. Tried ESXi 6.5,6.7 and 7 and used the HPE images. All installed to USB and then tried to SSD all install and run ok, but when setting up a VM, it becomes slow – 1.5hrs to install a windows 10 image, then the image is unuseable.

    Installed Windows Server 2019 Eval on to bare metal, Installs ok, but then goes super sluggish when running Hyper-V to the point of being unusable. Updated to the latest BIOS etc using the SPP iso.

    Example. Copy 38Gb file from my Nas to local storage under 2k19, get full 1Gbps, start a hyper-v vm, it slows to a few kbps, even copying from USB on the Windows 2019 server, not VM, Mouse becomes jumpy and unresponsive.

    Dropped the VM vCPU to 2, then one, still no difference.

    Tried 2 other SSD’s.

    BIOS settings were set to General Compute performance, and Virtualization Max performance.

    Beginning to think I have a faulty unit.

  22. Hi! Do you think that it could be possible to add a SAS raid controller on the PCI express and use it with the provided sas connector?

    It would look a little frankenstein but with a NVME on the minipcie and a proper raid controller this would be a perfect microserver for ESXI

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